Synopses & Reviews
From Ovid and Virgil to the muscle beaches of Malibu, Hercules has made an indelible impression on Western culture. He is the original hero: half god, half man, handsome and virile, triumphant in his labors yet ultimately a victim of his tragic destiny. He was also a rapist, drunkard, and transvestite, whose excesses reveal some of the darkest recesses of human nature. He has been variously portrayed in sculpture, painting, and verse, and later on stage and screen. This unconventional biography of Hercules charts his life from his dramatic birth in Thebes to his agonizing death on a flaming pyre.
"Brilliant...always quizzically engaging, and often uproariously entertaining."--Paul Cartledge, author of "Spartan Reflections
"Why on earth did Hercules-thug, drunkard and wife murderer-become a hero of Western culture? This engaging, witty book offers some fascinating explanations."--Mary Beard
From Ovid and Virgil to the muscle beaches of Malibu, Hercules has made an indelible impression on Western culture. Hercules is the original hero: half-god, half-man; strong, handsome and virile; triumphant in his twelve labours yet ultimately victim
About the Author
Alastair Blanshard is a Greek cultural historian who has taught classics at the universities of Oxford and Reading. In 2005 he took up a position at the University of Sydney. This is his first book.